What is Kitchen Table Mediation?

People will often ask about the difference between “kitchen table mediation” and “regular” mediation. I typically reply that there is no difference, at which point most people get confused. The reality is that kitchen table mediation is simply an abbreviated mediation process. Participants will go through the same framework as full mediation, it’s just much faster because the clients have already done most of the work themselves (i.e., they’ve reached most of the agreements themselves, exchange documentation, etc.).

Kitchen table mediation is a good fit for people who have developed most (or all) of their own agreements, but who want professional assistance to “make it legal.” A mediator can also serve to help improve upon agreements you have already reached or point out pitfalls or opportunities you may not have considered.

So what’s with the name? The process is called “kitchen table” in reference to the fact that many people reach their own agreement sitting around the kitchen table in their own homes. This process is most frequently used in the divorce or family law context, but there is really no reason why you cannot use it for


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